Royal Family refused to clap as cheers swept through Westminster Abbey at Princess Diana’s funeral

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Princess Diana funeral: Queen REFUSED to clap after Earl Spencer’s ‘pointed’ eulogy

THE Queen and senior members of the Royal Family refused to clap as cheers swept through Westminster Abbey at Princess Diana’s funeral after her brother Lord Spencer’s eulogy.

20 years ago, Earl Spencer took to the pulpit to deliver a speech about his sister that went down as one of the most famous of the 20th century.

As millions watched the funeral at Westminster Abbey live on televisions around the world, the grieving Lord Spencer lashed out at the Royal Family and the media in a scathing attack.

The congregation sat in stunned silence as applause and cheers erupted from the crowds outside the cathedral and rippled through the Abbey.

But only Prince William and Prince Harry joined in the applause with the Queen and other senior royals remaining silent.

Tonight it was revealed the “pointed” attack on the Royal Family sparked outrage among funeral organisers behind the scenes.

The story aired in ITV’s news documentary Diana The Day Britain Cried Photo (C) ITV
The story aired in ITV’s news documentary Diana The Day Britain Cried Photo (C) ITV

The inside story was revealed tonight in ITV’s documentary Diana: The Day Britain Cried, highlighting the behind the scenes events that culminated in Diana’s funeral.

Speaking for the first time Sir Malcom Ross, one of the Queen’s right-hand men who was responsible for the funeral arrangements, said: “It grated to me on the day because I thought he was actually having a little bit of a go at the Royal Family.”

But following the “pointed” speech, applause seemed to ripple through the crowds – and is believed to have started from outside the cathedral before making its way in.

One member of the congregation described the “peculiar and unusual” moment applause and cheers greeted the controversial eulogy, breaking the stunned silence from the congregation.

Sir Malcolm said: “It was my mistake to leave the doors of the Abbey open. What that meant was that when Lord Spencer made his remarks the audience outside applauded, which, in fact, started the audience inside applauding.

Sir Malcolm Ross said the clapping came from outside Photo (C) ITV
Sir Malcolm Ross said the clapping came from outside Photo (C) ITV

“Fine. I don’t think anybody took offence.”

Martin Neary, the Abbey’s musical director, said: “The princes actually applauded at the end although senior members of the royal family did not.”

Made by Finestripe Productions to mark the 20th anniversary of her death, archive footage shows Lord Spencer as he delivered the eulogy.

The princes actually applauded at the end although senior members of the royal family did not
Martin Neary, Westminster Abbey’s musical director

Sir Malcolm Ross said the clapping came from outside Photo (C) ITV
Sir Malcolm Ross said the clapping came from outside Photo (C) ITV

He made a public pledge to Prince William and Prince Harry that “we, your blood family, will do all we can to continue the imaginative way in which you were steering these two exceptional young men so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition but can sing openly as you planned.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 recently, Earl Spencer said he saw the eulogy for his sister as a chance to “speak for somebody who had no longer got a voice”, adding: “All I was trying to do was, as a brother, speak for my sister who was no longer there.”

Told he had said some “pretty pointed things” during the speech while standing opposite the Royal Family, he replied: “I don’t feel I said many pointed things, I believe that every word I said was true and it was important for me to be honest.

Claps echoed around the Abbey after Lord Spencer's speech Photo (C) ITV
Claps echoed around the Abbey after Lord Spencer’s speech Photo (C) ITV

“I wasn’t looking to make any jabs at anyone actually, I was trying to celebrate Diana – and if by doing that it showed up particularly the press, I think, in a bad way, well, they had that coming.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

Tags: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Death Anniversary